Sunday, June 12, 2016

Alex's New Quilt...


When the grandkids turn three years old I make them a twin-sized quilt for their "big" bed.  Since Alex is turning three this July, his mom asked that I make another "jar" quilt for his bed since he and Andrew now share a room and have bunk beds.  (I made this "bug jar" quilt for Andrew's third birthday.)

Instead of a strictly "bug" jars, I decided to do more of an "eye spy" type of quilt but put them in "jars".  Unfortunately, I don't have any up close pictures of the "jars", but there were things like tires, animals, umbrellas, candy, monkeys, fish, etc., ....and yes, bugs, too!  




The pieced back...(looks like there is an "orb" on the right side of the quilt because there was nothing on the quilt itself)...



The label...


I hate to mail quilts because I'm always afraid that they will get lost, so as much as possible, I hand-deliver them.  Since we won't be there for his birthday this year, we took it down with us when we went on vacation.



He immediately wanted to go down and put it on his bed!!!   I think he likes it!!!  


Here is a comparison of the two quilts side-by-side.  The brown "shelf" fabric, the black background, and the blue border were different but very similar since the fabric was purchased 5 years apart!



On the Home Front...

I love to garden, but have to used raised beds or do container gardening because of my back and knee.  Last years container garden was a bust and I only have one raised bed that I use to grow green beans in.  Toward the end of the summer last year I saw an ad for the Garden Tower2 and was extremely interested but decided to revisit the idea this year since the gardening season was over by that time last year.  I ordered one this Spring and it came a couple of days before we left on vacation.  This is what it looked like when I planted it before we left on vacation..some plants, some seeds...




And this is what it looked like 2.5 weeks later!!!  Everything is so green and lush and growing so well!!






Loretta

Georgia Vacation...




We just got back from a vacation to our son's family in Georgia!  We were there for Andrew's 8th birthday!  My...how time has FLOWN!  

On Saturday mornings he has riding therapy...




For the most part now, he guides the horse without the therapist using the lead!

And this is the little guy, Alex.  He will be 3 this July!  He is all boy...so active...and loves to be outdoors!




This video should make your day!!!  It is Alex, Grandpa, and Ginger playing in the back yard.  I just LOVE Alex's giggle!!!





While in Georgia, my daughter-in-law and I went to Goodwill...after all, what is a family visit without a trip to the local Goodwill, anyway???  ;)    I found this 100% cotton fabric...5 - 3 yard pieces of the light blue with pink flowers (total 15 yards!!!) and 1 yard of the veggie fabric...All for less than $9.00!!!!  SCORE!!!




Loretta



Friday, May 13, 2016

Cottage Baskets Quilt DONE!!!

Quote for the Day:
"I’m writing my book in fifth person, so 
every sentence starts out with: 
'I heard from this guy who told somebody …' "
~Demetri Martin


I actually finished this quilt about 10 days ago but just didn't have time photograph it and write the blog post, so here it is now!

Back in 2011, Andy & I attended the estate auction of a quilter and I got a lot of fabric, kits, etc. In one of the totes were these blocks that were pieced but not joined into a top, yet.  Last November I pulled out the blocks and joined them into a top, loaded it into my hand-quilting frame and started quilting them with "big-stitch" quilting using 3 strands of embroidery floss.  

Here is the finished quilt...




I had 2 blocks left over so I used one and hand-wrote the label info on it...



Loretta

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Oh HAIL No...


This past Thursday we had a hail storm to be all hail storms here in our town.  I was at work 30 miles away and wasn't here for it, but Andy was home.  He knew that I wouldn't believe him about how big the hail was so after it stopped he went out and grabbed some and put them in the freezer to show me when I got home.

I put an extra-large egg beside them so you could see the size comparison...


The siding on our house got damaged on the north and west sides, the metal roofs on the two sheds and carport we put up 3 years ago got heavy damage, and both of Andy's cars were sitting out and got damaged.

I don't know if you can see it, but the entry doors to the sheds look like they were pelted with gunfire, though none of the dents made holes...


Andy's Subaru Forester...






Andy's Subaru Baja...






A lot of people lost the windows of their cars like our neighbors did...


Insurance adjusters have descended upon our town and you can see their business cars everywhere as they check out the damage for their customers.  We already have our appointment set up with our adjuster in the coming week.


On a lighter note...
When my friend gave me the quilt tops a few weeks ago, in the bag was a sandwiched "quilt" that was in the process of being tied.  The top and backing were just large pieces of ugly 1970's-looking red fabric but I noticed that what they were using for batting was actually a vintage quilt.  I decided to remove the ties and check out the quilt.  It was in fairly good condition except for the edges.  It had a "knife-edge" finish around the edges and it just didn't hold up to the wear and tear the quilt received.

I cut off 2" all the way around the border and then added a traditional border.  Here is what it looks like now!



The fabric is fragile from age, but it is now a usable quilt again!  

Loretta

Saturday, April 16, 2016

More on the Gifted Quilt Tops...

Quote for the Day:
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. 
~Henry David Thoreau


So here's the story about that last quilt that I showed in my last post about the gifted quilt tops...


It was not good at all.  It didn't lay flat, it was hand-pieced with big stitches, the colored fabric was coarse and loosely woven, the top had some stains on it, and there was a lot of fraying of the seams on the back.  The colored fabric almost reminded me of loosely woven curtain fabric and the cream fabric was tightly woven and had a "sheen" to it.  The top didn't have a square corner on it ANYWHERE and the cream blocks were larger than the 9-patches, so there was no getting it to lay flat.  

I almost tossed it out.  Then I thought about contacting Tim Latimer to see if he wanted it if I sent it to him for free!  (Tim buys vintage quilt tops cheaply, does what he needs to do to fix their "issues", and then hand quilts them into beautiful quilt tops!)  

Finally, I decided to sandwich it and use it to practice free-motion quilting on.  You see, about 18 months ago I had purchased 2 online free-motion quilting courses from Craftsy.com, but had not yet taken them because I was procrastinating.  I've been wanting to expand my FMQing beyond the basic meandering that I normally do, but I never wanted to "practice" on an actual quilt for fear of ruining the quilt.  On the other hand, I didn't want to just take random pieces of fabric and practice on those because...well...that's a waste of fabric and thread..and time.

So I decided to sandwich this poor, pathetic quilt top and practice on it.  If my FMQing was horrible, what did it matter?  The top was in horrible shape anyway, so I wouldn't be "out" anything.  And when I was done, at least I'd have a utility quilt that I could take to the park or use to cover the back seat of the car and not worry about it getting ruined.

So with all of that in mind, I used a cheap piece of fabric that I had picked up at a yard sale for the backing and some pieced-together leftover batting and made a practice sandwich.  I watched the two courses that I had purchased and practiced with a pen and sketchpad first and then practiced on the quilt.  I also watched several youtube videos on different quilting motifs and used those, too.   My ultimate goal was to be able to learn to do free-hand feathers without any marking.

I specifically used a colored thread so that the quilting would show up and I could study it easily and see where I needed improvement.  All of these designs were done free-hand without any marking!!!  There are "tucks" everywhere because the top just wouldn't lay flat...but overall, I was able to quilt it into submission so it doesn't look too bad!!!

This is the final product...










This next design was actually one I came up with on my own and really like it!  



Some free-hand feathers...not too shabby!  They kinda look like feathers!  LOL



I really love this next design...not my own, but one I found online...


And, of course, I had to try writing my name!!!  In the top name I had trouble figuring out the "o" and it came out like an "e", so I had to redo it down below the first one...


Since free-hand feathers were my ultimate goal, I did several blocks of them...
(you can see some tucks in this block)



Overall, I think it turned out well and I got a LOT of practice in!  It ended up being about the size of a throw or couch quilt.  I learned a lot and hope to put it to use in my future quilts!

Loretta